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The three primary connected problems that mankind is presently facing are climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. These three problems are often referred to as the tripple planetary crisis. If we want to have a feasible future on this planet, each of these problems—each of which has its origins and effects—needs to be tackled. The most recent UNEP study, Making Peace with Nature, summarises the research on pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. All facets of society are urged to take action to safeguard people and the environment.
The most urgent problem now confronting humanity is climate change. Simply expressed, climate change is the phrase used to describe long-term changes in temperature and weather that will eventually radically transform the ecosystems that sustain life on Earth. The major causes of climate change are human actions. Nearly all of our activities result in emissions, but the biggest contributors to atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions include energy usage, industry, transportation, buildings, and agriculture. The effects of climate change are already being felt today in the form of droughts that are more frequent and severe, water shortages, wildfires, increasing sea levels, flooding, melting of the polar ice, catastrophic storms, and a decline in biodiversity. Climate change is one of the primary concerns of time when we talk about the triple planetary crisis and public health.
More than seven million people die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution, making it the leading global cause of disease and early death. Amazingly, nine out of ten people on the planet breathe air that exceeds WHO pollution criteria. Everything from industry and traffic to wildfires, vulcanism, and households contributes to pollution. Cooking using polluting fuels and technologies results in indoor home air pollution, another pollution source. It is projected that 3.8 million people died from this cause in 2016 alone.
The deterioration or extinction of biological variety, which includes ecosystems, animals, plants, and other life forms. There are several causes of biodiversity loss, from overfishing to habitat loss (such as deforestation for development) to deserts brought on by climate change. Since we are all ultimately interconnected, biodiversity serves as the foundation for everything on Earth. Loss of biodiversity influences our ability to feed ourselves and obtain clean water; without it, our world cannot survive.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution—the “three global crises”—are compounding and causing more harm to the environment and human health. Let’s find out how the tripple planetary crisis and public health are related.
We are a threatened species that inhabit a threatened planet. However, if we address the triple planetary crisis quickly and get the world out of the hospital, we can save lives and lighten the load on medical systems.
This entails pandemic recovery strategies that support eco-friendly approaches for robust and climate-resilient systems. Decarbonization is what this means. This entails supporting environmentally friendly alternatives. This entails funding adaptation in underdeveloped countries. This denotes a change toward sustainable production and consumption. The G20 countries bear a heavy share of the responsibility for action because they account for over 75% of greenhouse gas emissions and most of the demand for resources.
Beyond these actions, a crucial component of the plan to heal our sick planet is to strengthen the One Health concept and its environmental aspects. The time is now to promote integrated, multi-sector, and multi-stakeholder projects using this political momentum. initiatives supported by suitable governing structures. improvements in science for better-coordinated treatments. that ensure effective worldwide conservation of biodiversity and the environment to reduce health hazards. that encourage more environmentally friendly farming methods and ethical trade in domestic and wild animals. It strengthens the tenure and management rights of indigenous and local populations, who are better at managing the environment and possess in-depth knowledge of health threats.
In 13 countries, including India, China, and certain West African countries, just USD 220 million in funding was committed to One Health initiatives in 2020. However, it is anticipated that One Health investments of about USD 3.4 billion annually are needed to stop upcoming pandemics. It may appear to be a substantial sum of money. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, might cost the world economy USD 15.8 trillion, in contrast to this investment. It would be wise to invest billions of dollars right now.
A serious public health concern is the triple planetary crisis. We should handle it accordingly. The G20 has the power to take the initiative in resolving this situation and advancing the One Health strategy. Our countries can save millions of lives and countless money annually if stakeholders act wisely right away. We all depend on each one on the planet to do the task.
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